- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Improved corner emerges for Terps
Question of the Day
Jamari McCollough played all of three games on kickoff coverage and kickoff return in his first three seasons in Maryland’s program.
It wasn’t an extensive resume. It wasn’t even a great resume. But as spring practice and summer workouts came and went, the self-assured junior believed he should be starting for the Terrapins.
Maryland’s staff thought otherwise, shifting incoming freshman Kenny Tate from wideout to strong safety in August and leaving McCollough to battle for a third-team spot.
Fed up with sporadic practice snaps and a reasonably bleak forecast for future playing time, McCollough arranged a meeting in the final week of camp with coach Ralph Friedgen, defensive coordinator Chris Cosh and secondary coach Kevin Lempa.
McCollough had one basic request.
“It was basically, ‘Give me an opportunity to show you what I can do,’” McCollough recalled this week.
So they did, a decision that becomes more valuable each week for the Terrapins (5-2, 2-1 ACC), who host N.C. State (2-5, 0-3) on Saturday.
McCollough left the discussion with a mandate to show he could be a more physical option for the Terps. Within a month, he played part time at free safety when Terrell Skinner missed two games with a high ankle sprain.
This week, he shifts over to cornerback and likely will play in Maryland’s nickel package, a necessity after senior Kevin Barnes (fractured shoulder blade) was lost for the season. Defensive backs don’t often move from safety to corner, which only validates McCollough’s significance in the program.
“I think he’s one of the more improved players,” Friedgen said. “I’m pretty pleased and also pretty proud of the way he’s come back. When I moved Tate over there, he came in and he was upset. I just told him I wasn’t really convinced you could play after spring practice, and he’s taken his game to a whole other level. He’s kind of showed me, and that’s good.”
It just took him a while.
McCollough entered school in 2005, a cocksure cornerback who needed just one practice torching from former Terps receiver Jo Jo Walker to realize how different college was from high school.
When McCollough came back to camp a year later, he was moved to safety and seemed like a possibility for the Terps’ dime package. But he tore his ACL during camp and missed the entire season, and then waited until the final three games last season before earning time on special teams.
That set up his in-camp frustrations and the dose of reality Friedgen delivered in response to his questions. McCollough, though, quickly set to work to show the Terps’ coaches how useful he could be this season.
He knew he would be challenged soon enough, especially given the staff’s belief that he might struggle against the run, so he improved his tackling and was prepared for an exam of physicality in practice.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
White House pets gone wild!